So Have You Seen This HDTV Thing?


Well, if you haven't you should check it out. And I don't mean at Wal-mart. Seriously not at Wal-Mart...or Best Buy...or Circuit City...alright on second thought you guys just come over and we'll go to my brother-in-law's house.

I'll start rambling about the glories of HD in a minute but first let me say my peace about the abo


ve named retailers. I love Wal-Mart. I do. Anytime one of my well-meaning hippy friends starts in with a rant about the evils of Big Box retailers destroying local economies and raping and pillaging every fair burg across this great nation, I'm the guy that stands up and goes, "Yeah, but they sell that shit really cheap." Let's face it, Wal-Mart is not a lovable entity. They are the number one retailer of anything and everything in the world. Countless suits have been brought against them by every minority about harassment and exclusion. And besides blue frocks don't look good on anybody.

"Yeah, but they sell that shit really cheap."

You're damn straight they do. What are you trying to buy? Cd's? Camo Undies? Cereal? Starter Logs for your Chimenea? Diapers for the kiddies? I guarantee there's not a shop in forty miles of your house that will have any of that crap cheaper than Wal-Mart. So...
Fact #1 Wal-Mart Sells Crap Cheap

I like stuff, a lot. More importantly I like a lot of stuff. I have a limited budget. Very limited. And so I arrive at...
Fact #2 I need to bargain shop

I am not alone in this by the way as it seems all of America and most of the world (the part that isn't trying to escape genocide or figure out how not to catch aids) loves stuff, too. So surprise, surprise a store that sells the crap WE want at a price that allows us to buy that other crap WE want is IMMENSELY successful. I said that to say this: When will Wal-Mart and the other above mentioned retailers figure out how the hell to hook up an HDTV properly?

The USA Today ran a story about two months ago about how more than half of consumers with a High Definition Television were completely surprised to find out that just because they bought it and plugged it into the wall, they didn't ACTUALLY have HDTV. Now, Joe and Jane Q Public are not that bright, I understand. I would expect that such new technology, requiring so many wires and extra steps would take some time to get used to. I mean you read the story about the little girl who started a "set the clock on your vcr's for a fee" business, right? Consumers I get, but why is it that with one or two exceptions I've yet to see an HDTV set in a store that was properly hooked up and tuned. "Wally World" is not the only one at fault. My favorite place to go for DVD shopping Best Buy is likewise lacking. What's worse is that their employees pretend to have knowledge about the latest technology. Not only that but they volunteer their lies. One recent trip to Best Buy's Television section went like this:

BB Employee: They look great don't they?
Me: Well actually the aspect ratio is off. You don't have these tv's calibrated right.
B: That's just your eyes playing tricks, it takes a while to get used to the Widescreen image.
M: I have a widescreen tv.
B: Then you know what I'm talking about.
M: No, man this image is stretched out, Halle Berry looks like Oprah.
(Blank Stare)
B: Well holler if you need anything alright.

I have heard more half truths and downright fictions from the mouths of Best Buy and Circuit City employees than out of the entire Clinton administration. Everything from "this tv automatically makes all broadcasts widescreen" (Not true), to "This tv set is HDTV ready so you just plug in the cable and your ready to go" (straight back to standard definition broadcasts), to "All the tv stations have already switched to HD so you'll get all the local channels in HD as soon as you get this puppy home. (That's true if you live in New York...City)

I feel much better now...really. Other than me starting my own school and holding hostage the CEO's of those retailers forcing any electronics salespeople to attend, I can't think of way to stop this nonsense. So I yelled at you guys about it. Thanks.

Now seriously if you haven't seen real HD, do yourself a favor and find a friends wealthy uncle, or some such and just sit and bask in the glory that is 720p (that little p stands for progressive). I watched about an hour of some documentary on jellyfish Saturday night at Ella's brother's house. There was other stuff on, but the jellyfish were HD. We could have watched "The Office" but the jellyfish were in HD. Anyone who tells you is doesn't make that big a difference, is LYING. So let's all pinch our pennies, save up and wait for 2009, when Uncle Sam kicks standard definition tv in the ass, and throws us headlong into the twenty-first century.